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RA: Point Break

09.04.2009by: Ammon Gilbert

Rating: 4 on 4 / Buy the DVD here

Tag Line: 100% Pure Adrenaline.

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Starring Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty

THE PLAN: An undercover FBI agent infiltrates a gang of bank-robbing surfers.

THE KILL: One of the biggest guilty pleasures from the early 90s is Kathryn Bigelow's POINT BREAK. There's something about the film's sheer awesomeness, yet equal cheesiness, that's hard not to like. Keanu Reeves rockin' the surfer accent while trying to portray Johnny Utah, the hotshot FBI agent. Patrick Swayze as the adrenline junkie, bank robber, and surfer messiah Bodhi. Two characters that are now infamous in the bowels of cinematic history. Throw in the crazy Gary Busey, who looks hungover and/or drunk the entire time, a few surfing / skydiving montages, and the boyish physique of Lori Petty, and you have yourself one of the greatest action classics of our generation.

The first annual Sky Diving Arm Wrestling contest.
Whoever wins, they lose.

Bank robbers who call themselves the Ex-Presidents (because they're wearing masks of ex-presidents to conceal their identities) are hitting banks left and right. It's up to an ex-Ohio State quarterback / rookie FBI agent Johnny Utah to find out who's behind it. Gary Busey's been on the case for years, and thinks the robbers are likely surfers. So Utah begins posing as a surfing lawyer, gets in tight with a group of surfers, nails surfer girl Lori Petty, and has man-love for Bodhi (the Swayze), the leader of the surfers. Utah assumes another group of surfers are the robbers, only to find out they were just a bunch of meth-heads (with Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman in the mix), which leads him to believe it's his group of surfers who are the bank robbing culprits, which makes it harder for him to bring them down.

Ever see THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS? That movie is almost a shot-for-shot remake of POINT BREAK, except instead of speed racers, POINT BREAK fosuse on a group of surfers. And where F&F showcased action sequences involving fast cars, POINT BREAK showcases action sequences around other adrenaline fueled activities, like surfing and sky diving. And if you ask me, both of those are way cooler than watching a bunch of suped-up rice-rockets driving around the city.

The only crook missing here is George W. Bush...

But the action in POINT BREAK isn't just a bunch of surf montages--not that there aren't a few. There's a great little action sequence featuring naked ass-kicking chicks and a scary gas-powered lawnmower, a couple of epic bank robbing sequences, and a car chase that leads into a foot chase that follows Utah and Bodhi through half of Los Angeles. And if that's not enough, there's a shoot-out at the airport followed by a chase out the door of a perfectly good airplane. Oh yes, in what may be one of the ballsiest moves in cinematic history, Utah jumps out of a plane after a skydiving Bodhi--without a parachute. Talk about hardcore.

The film earns its R rating in style, with every gunshot wound bloody as hell, the word 'f*ck' uttered at least a hundred times,and yes... there's even some nudity thrown in for good measure. POINT BREAK also features the believable relationship and banter between Johnny Utah and Gary Busey, who's the f*cking man in this movie, cracking one-liners left and right, and rocking the look of a man who had 12 drinks too many the night before--for the entire flippin' movie! Utah and Busey play their machoness off one another, and yet you can tell through all the shit-talking they have each other's backs. And even their FBI boss is a screaming a-hole, which puts him alongside the great screaming a-hole police chiefs from films like ACTION JACKSON, LETHAL WEAPON, and RED HEAT.

The most classic scene in the whole movie? Maybe...

POINT BREAK is the guiltiest of pleasures because it rocks to the macho-ism of Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, two dudes not necessarily known for being macho men. But like strutting his stuff in ROAD HOUSE, the Swayze delivers the goods and so much more. As Bodhi, the Swayze rocks the haggard surfer look like no other, and his constant sayings about being radical, about how surfing is more than just a way of life, and all things 100% pure adreline is fun times all around. His best role? Maybe right behind Dalton.

Then there's Keanu as Johnny Utah. He's rockin' hair that's half straight-edge, half surfer, he rocks an accent that's half straight-edge, half Keanu (surfer), and when it comes down to spraying bullets and hitting his targets--the man doesn't miss. You can see why he was chosen for SPEED a few years later and then into THE MATRIX series and beyond. He can rock the stoned surfer just as hard as the straight-edge FBI agent... if you can get past the way he talks. Even now, I can't take the man seriously even when he's trying to be--it just sounds forced and feels like every sentence should end in 'Dude!'.


And yet the combination of the Swayze and Reeves is enough to catapult POINT BREAK into the depths of Reel Action awesomeness. While there isn't non-stop action throughout, and the body count barely reaches 10 by the end of the movie, there's something about it that lives next to the likes of COBRA, COMMANDO, and OUT FOR JUSTICE in terms of delivering sheer, unadulterated hardcore action. Maybe it's the skydiving and surf montages, maybe it's the iconic Ex-Presidents and the killer look they have as bank robbers, and maybe it's the ass-kicking naked chick. Either way, if you haven't seen POINT BREAK yet, I suggest you stop what you're doing, find it, and watch it right now. It's 100% pure adrenaline.


[SPOILER] There's something sad, powerful, and equally hilarious when Busey gets blown away by a few shotgun blasts to the back. Is it the super slow motion when it happens? Is it Reeves screaming NOOOOOOO? Could be both. Either way, at the end of the movie, this death is one of the most memorable... even if it is kinda funny (yet totally unexpected) when it happens.


The car chase that leads into the foot chase between Reeves on Ronald Reagan is epic. The Ex-Presidents go through two cars, Reagan busts out a make-shift flame thrower, and the foot chase has the two running through yards, houses, and an empty canal. During the chase, Reagan throws a pit-bull at Reeves. I shit you not.

Just a couple of guys who like to wax each other's boards...

TOP HOMOEROTIC MOMENT: Besides the flowing hair of the majority of the surfers? Besides the obvious man-love that's shared between Utah and Bodhi? Besides all the man-handling going on throughout? Then maybe it's the constant delivery of man ass-shots sprinkled throughout the movie that makes this equally macho and gay.


The only part with female nudity could pass for both awesome female exploitation and awesome action sequence, as a totally naked chick beats the shit out of Utah and Busey during an FBI raid before she's knocked the f*ck out. It's hardcore, it's dirty, and this chick is stacked. Another chick is running around screaming in this same scene in nothing but underwear. Good times.

Wait--which one's the chick?

There's so much to choose from... here are a few...

Johnny Utah: I am an F-B-I agent!

Johnny Utah: Vaya con Dios.

Bodhi: Fear causes hesitation. And hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.

Bodhi: If you want the ultimate, you gotta be prepared to pay the ultimate price.

Gary Busey: I'm so hungry I could eat the ass end out of a dead rhino.


Drink whenever Keanu attempts to say something serious but comes off sounding like a stoner.

Again--which one's the chick???

TRIVIA: Matthew Broderick was originally offered the role of Johnny Utah. Others who auditioned were Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen.

Source: AITH



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